Saturday, October 1, 2011

The Inaugural Flight of the Fleckerl

Dances:  Nightclub 2-Step, Viennese Waltz, Foxtrot, Tango, Waltz, Cha Cha, Hustle, Salsa, West Coast Swing
Part:  Lead
Workout:  Mowed one lawn and chest and shoulders at the gym.

Wow.  We actually got through all five days this week without missing a single day of practice.  Not that I'm really a stickler about that sort of thing.  I think it's important to balance your life with your hobbies and pursuits.  That means that you're bound to miss days here and there.  I can tell Sarah is the type that feels uncomfortable about missing days.  I tease her about this all the time while having to remind her that it's the missed day that's the problem.  It's the fact that you risk breaking a good habit.  I think she's coming around to that realization slowly.  :)  So after a lawn mowing in the rain (which came suddenly half way through) and a chest and shoulder workout, I was ready for our last practice this week.

Sarah was smart in planning Fleckerls in Viennese Waltz for today's focus.  In a way, Viennese Waltz is another one of our 20% Time Projects along with the Nightclub 2-Step.  Since Friday night practices are usually short and unfocused, Fleckerls were perfect.  I think we got in a great practice even though it was short.  By the end of it we were dancing Fleckerls fairly consistently.  That meant getting into them and getting out.  Now most of the time Sarah can't read when I execute a Fleckerl and I usually can't get out of them.  We both know what needs to happen but something always goes wrong along the way.  Either we get our footwork wrong, or the timing is off, or we just crash into each other coming out of it.  In watching some YouTube videos of Arunas, Victor, Mirko, Simeon, etc. I noticed a common trait in the exiting of Fleckerls.  It seems like all of them "slow down" a bit to exit that figure.  So I played around with that idea a little bit.  Finally I think I figured out what it was.  The figure doesn't slow down per se, but rather the lead lessens the amount of rotation right at the end so the spinning slows down enabling a smooth exit.  I tried this a few times and it worked beautifully.  No more destroying of the knees.  I think this process of figuring out how to lead figures is crucial to a lead's development.  I'm always thinking about what I need to do to increase my changes of successfully leading a figure and exiting one.  A lead's job is never done.

After practice we headed over to DanceWorks for the party.  The turnout was good.  A lot of new people.  The floor was pretty crowded, but we navigated it well.  An older gentleman actually came over and told me how awesome we were at dancing our advanced figures and routines amidst all the other couples while not disturbing any of them.  A good sign!  Last but not least, they played one Viennese Waltz that night and I took our new Fleckerl out for a test drive.  It was a success, other than almost taking out another couple as they shot by us, everything worked as it should.  I'm sure it still looks terrible based on competition standards, but we're finally dancing them.

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